Anorak News | Fat Government

Fat Government

by | 28th, February 2006

‘WE’VE decided to look on the bright side of news, to give it a positive spin. Take the Independent’s story: “Children at risk of early death as obesity rises.”

An integrated eating policy

Whereas just one in ten children was obese in 1995, now one in seven is very fat.

As Steve Bundred, the chief executive of the Audit Commission, says: “If the trend continues, this generation of children will be the first for many decades that doesn’t live for as long as their parents.”

As the Indy says, obesity reduces life expectancy by an average of nine years. That’s bad news. Right? Not for the pensions crisis. Fat kids might yet lead to less fat pensioners, and so less of a drain of the taxpayers’ purse and the NHS.

The other good news is that the National Audit Office, the Healthcare Commission and the Audit Commission have shown us just how productive joined-up Government can be by jointly producing a report on overweight children.

And one of the things they’ve noted is that not everyone thinks like them. As the Times says in its front-page story (“Children grow fatter as the experts dither”), it has taken 31 experts 18 months to agree how obesity should be measured.

And, as the report says, the Government’s obesity programme currently involves no fewer than five government departments, “dozens” of quangos and “hundreds” of local bodies.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that fat kids are keeping a lot of people in work.

Another Times headline sums up the state of play: “Series of wasteful initiatives end up doing fat lot of good.”

Michael Whitehouse, of the NAO, says, “There is duplication of effort and duplication of costs.” So people are pulling in the same direction and are in agreement on how best to spend money. Ok. Got it.’

Posted: 28th, February 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink